Feb 12

Are you AWESOME! TGIF!!!

Just messing around a bit. Because FRIDAY!!! And it is keeping me from doing things I should be doing. Again, because FRIDAY!!!
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Jan 23

PowerShell Basic – Quick Mass Filename Rename

Just a quick snip of PowerShell for renaming files or folders in mass.

Get-ChildItem -Recurse | Rename-Item -NewName {$_.Name -replace 'OLDNAME','NEWNAME'}

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Jan 18

VM Guest Volume Blocksize Report

This is just a quick script I put together for a fellow SA to generate a HTML Report contianing details on the configured volumes for all running Windows Guest VMs. The HTML report shows the Name, Label, Filesystem Type, Allocation Unit (Blocksize), Capacity, and Free Space for each volume in a Windows Guest VM.

The current version can be found here: https://github.com/herseyc/PowerCLI-Scripts/blob/master/VM-BlockSize.ps1
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Jan 11

vSphere Design Cookbook Update in Process

In January 2014 the VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook I wrote was published by Packt Publishing. The book covers the VMware Design Methodology and Process. The book was written in a cookbook style providing “recipes” for incorporating vSphere 5.x functions and features into a virtual datacenter design.

7005EN_VMware Cookbook

The goal I had for the book was to assist people working towards the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Design (VCAP5-DCD) Certification and I used the VCAP-DCD blueprint as somewhat of a guide when creating the initial outline for the book.

Just before Christmas the publisher of the vSphere Design Cookbook contacted me about updating the book to vSphere 6. After a bit of planning what updates would be included, I accepted. I started working on the update this past week and submitted the first draft of the updated Chapter 1 last night.

I received a lot of positive feedback and reviews from the VMware community on the first revision of the book. As I had hoped many found it to be a helpful resource for preparing for the VCAP Design exam. I really appreciate all the feedback and I am looking forward to incorporating the feedback in this new revision.
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Dec 17

Running a Command During ESXi Boot to Start a VM.

One way to automatically start VMs on a host after a reboot is to use the VM Startup/Shutdown feature. This feature works well on standalone ESXi hosts and will ensure VMs start automatically in a configured order after a host reboot. The image below shows how this is configured on an ESXi host managed by vCenter using the Web Client.


From the vSphere Client managing a host directly it can be found on the Configuration Tab, Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown.

An important thing to note here is, if the host is part of a vSphere HA cluster, the automatic startup and shutdown of virtual machines is disabled. Even if HA is not enabled and you vMotion a VM from one host to another, and then back, it sets the machine back to manual startup.

What if the VM is not protected by HA (on local storage) or if for some reason HA does not work (for example all hosts in a cluster fail). What if… What if… What if…

Now not to get into a design discussion about mitigating the risks of all host failing due to a power outage or an issue with a blade chassis or whatever. It can still happen. I wanted to come up with a fairly bullet proof solution which would start a VM, in this case a Domain Controller running in my home lab, when ESXi boots.

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Dec 15

Lab Deployment PowerCLI Script for TCC VMware ICM Class

Finished up another successful vSphere 6 Install Configure Manage class at Tidewater Community College last week. Time to re-provision the lab environments to get things ready for the next class.

I wrote a PowerCLI script to help with the lab provisioning process. The script does the follow:

  • Distributes vApps across available hosts in my TCC lab cluster.
  • Creates an isolated vSwitch on the host and the required PortGroups for each lab environment.
  • Clones the Master Lab vApp to the lab vApp.
  • Attaches the Lab VM’s Network Adapters to Correct Port Groups.

I have a vApp which has been configured for the lab environment with all the necessary bits and pieces needed for the ICM labs. The Master Lab vApp was inspired by AutoLab and has been modified to support the lab exercises for the ICM class. I also have a version configured for the Optimize and Scale class, and I am working on a version for the View ICM class.

Here is a pretty basic diagram of what each lab environment looks like.
Each lab is connected to an isolated vSwitch (no physical uplinks) with two PortGroups. One PortGroup has promiscuous mode enabled (set to Accept) this PortGroup is used for the VM Networks on the nested ESXi servers, the other PortGroup has promiscuous mode disabled (Set to Reject) which is used for all other VMs. Students access the labs by RDPing to the Classroom connected router VM which has a port-based NAT to forward the RDP connection through to the vDC.

The vDC is a Windows Server 2008 R2 VM (soon to be updated to Windows Server 2012) which acts as the lab domain controller and has all the software (clients, putty, class isos, etc) on it. The vCenter (VCSA) and ESXi servers provide the nested virtual environment for the lab. The NAS is a FreeNAS Appliance which provides iSCSI and NFS Storage for the lab environment.
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Dec 04

Couple of Handy VCSA KBs – vCenter Services and Inventory Service

Had a couple of issues in the labs for class last night. Unfortunate since these are assessment labs for the final the students get a little frustrated when there are issues.

A couple of VMware KBs which came in handy that I am going to leave right here for future reference.

Stopping, starting, or restarting VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.0 services (2109887)

Resetting the VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Inventory Service’s Individual Data Providers (2113435)

Labs are pretty stable now and everyone was able to complete all the lab tasks last night (just took a little longer than expected). Have some testing to do but things should go well for part two of the class lab assessment next week.

Have fun!

Nov 26

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!!

I have so much to be thankful for…

A great family – My wife, kids, mom, sister, and brother are all awesome! Always thankful for their love and support.

A great job working for a fantastic company.

The men and women serving in the armed forces. I appreciate the sacrifices they make and think about them often. Hope they stay safe and get home soon.

The #vCoffee Crew! I know it is a little silly, but I appreciate the tweets every Saturday and Sunday AM over coffee. And it is especially great when we get to meet up in person.

Coffee, I am thankful for coffee :)

Have a great day everyone!

Nov 18

PowerCLI: Copy a vmdk from one VM to another

I created this script to help assist a customer automate an operation they perform regularly. Basically they restore a VM and then either attach directly to a vmdk in the restored VM or copy a vmdk into a folder of a target VM. This task is performed regularly and to reduce time and the risk of errors in attaching or moving the wrong vmdk they wanted a way to automate the process to be able to repeat the process quickly and accurately.

The script below will copy a virtual machine disk ($recoveryHD) from one VM ($Source) and then attach it to another VM ($Target).

There is a second snippet of Windows powershell code which sets the volume to read/write and mounts it in the target VM.
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Nov 02

New Addition to the Home Lab and Office

The title may be a little misleading. Sorry no new gear in the home lab. The home lab is running pretty good right now, don’t really have any needs in the lab at this time (there are always wants, but no needs right now).

I have had an aquarium since before I can remember. Back when I was a younger I had 10 and 20 gallon freshwater tanks. For the last 25 years or so I have maintained a 55 gallon freshwater tank. Here is a picture of my 55 gallon tank in our living room.


My job at SimpliVity has me based out of my house and I spend a day or so a week at home in my office working on SimpliVity designs and such. So I decided I wanted an aquarium in my office space. I thought about moving the 55 gallon upstairs into the office, but we (my wife and I) really like it downstairs in the living room.
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